The special map, measuring 84cm long and 45cm wide, was created by Jean Louis Taberd of France and published in India’s Serampore in 1838. It depicts the archipelago known as “Paracel seu Cat Vang” – Hoang Sa islands within Vietnam’s territorial waters.

The “Paracel seu Cat Vang” map affirms that the archipelago is Cat Vang, also known as Hoang Sa by the Vietnamese at that time.

At the time, it was the largest and most detailed map of Vietnam. It is named in three languages – Han (Chinese characters), Vietnamese national scripts, and Latin scripts. All landmarks on the map, including those in China, Laos, and Cambodia, are labeled in Vietnamese scripts. The footnotes are written in Vietnamese, Latin, and French characters.

Son, also the Director-General of the East Sea Institute, spoke to the Vietnam News Agency and revealed that the idea to present the map to the House of European History came from the Vietnamese Embassy in Brussels. This gesture demonstrates the close relations between Vietnam and Belgium in various fields such as politics, culture, and history.

The presentation of the map aims to enhance European friends’ understanding of Vietnamese history and provide them with a deeper insight into the history and current situation of the East Sea (South China Sea).

Simina Badica, a Curator at the House of European History, expressed her delight in receiving the map from Vietnam. The map will aid researchers and visitors in gaining a better understanding of Vietnam’s geographical history. She noted that this is the first item the house has received from Vietnam and hopes that cooperation and cultural exchange between the two sides will continue to expand.

Son also received 13 sets of documents on Vietnamese border and territory from international law professor Jean Salmon during his visit to Belgium. Among the documents is a valuable set focusing on Vietnam’s Hoang Sa archipelago written in 1960. Professor Jean Salmon, who is 91 years old, has previously served as a lawyer and lecturer of international law at the Free University of Brussels. He has also advised the Vietnam National Border Committee on border-related issues and diplomatic rules.